Publication Date

December 1, 1995

Editor's Note: The following is a final report about sessions that will take place at the Association's 1996 annual meeting in Atlanta. Renate Bridenthal (City Univ. of New York) and Patrick Manning (Northeastern Univ.) prepared the report, an earlier version of which appeared in the May/June 1995 issue of Perspectives. Bridenthal and Manning are cochairs of the Program Committee for the 1996 meeting.

In keeping with the locale of the 1996 annual meeting—Atlanta, Georgia—and with the theme of the conference “Polities in Flux: Citizenships in Transition"—the first of our two plenary sessions will honor the civil rights movement. Professors Mary Frances Berry (Univ. of Pennsylvania) and Julian Bond (Univ. of Virginia) will speak at the session, "Entitling Citizens: Retrospectives and Prospects of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States” and Sara Evans (Univ. of Minnesota) will chair. Our second plenary session, “Polities in Flux: Citizenships in Transition," will also reflect the annual meeting theme with an exploration of two opposite pressures on the historical nation-state. Richard Barnet (Inst. for Policy Studies) will present "Globalization: Historical Trends," and Misha Glenny (Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Visiting Fellow) will present "Fragmentation: The Case of Yugoslavia," Nikki Keddie (Univ. of California at Los Angeles) will chair the session. Both plenary sessions speak to crucial issues of our time, and we expect a lively audience response.

One of the most exciting sessions at the meeting will reflect the theme of the Olympic Games (the summer Olympics, as you no doubt know, will be held in Atlanta in 1996). The session is entitled “Creating Norms of International Citizenship: The Modern Olympic Games." A literary critic, a historian, and an anthropologist will examine the Olympics as an international movement whose definitions of citizenship have changed dramatically since the games were first established a century ago. The session will explore the origin of the modern Olympics, its reception in China at the turn of the century, and the International Olympic Committee as a supranationalist elite.

In addition to the Olympics session, we have a fascinating array of comparative history panels on topics such as peace history, the origins of international feminism, the social aspects of environmental history in California and Australia, death squads and paramilitarism in the modern state, transatlantic perspectives on citizenship, and frontier clergy in medieval Europe and the United States, to mention only a few.

In United States history, we will have presentations on issues in African American political leadership and on issues that pertain to gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity. One interesting session deals with the history of racial science-that is, of biological determinism and the politics of repression. And a panel on popularization will discuss intellect in public from Herbert Spencer to Hank Williams.

In European history we will have a large selection of presentations on both early modern and modern Europe. Some of these panels are on dramatic topics, such as exorcism in early modern Europe, while several others address identity in eastern Europe. Yet others are on modern Germany, including the issue of Jewish Germans in the Nazi period, before and during the Holocaust.

We are pleased to have some panels on the Middle and Far East, Africa, and Latin America, though we would have preferred to have received more submissions in these areas. Among the submissions we received are panels on citizenship in modern Japan, loyalty and identity among the Hong Kong Chinese, gender and the work of empire in colonial southern Africa, law and nationalism in modern India, citizenship and deviance in Latin America, and politics in modern Panama.

We are particularly happy to be able to present several fine panels on teaching. One discusses gendering the survey, another addresses the problem of writing for undergraduates, and yet another looks at writing and teaching about groups other than one's own.

Finally, we are most excited about three panels offered by the moderators of H-Net. One panel will be on editing in cyberspace, a second will be about book reviewing in the electronic age, and a third will be on the history classroom of the 21st century.

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